"Seeing green": An anthropological perspective on the process of international conflict in the whaling issue
Henke, Janice S
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This dissertation examines the history and process of conflict among governmental and non-governmental participants of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, and proposes three grounded theories to explain this conflict and its changing course since 1946. Analysis of the whaling dispute indicates that some nations desire to demonstrate national image through exerting power over others, and through this behavior, to maintain domestic political support as they avoid criticism from powerful non-governmental activist groups at home. In addition, some small non-whaling nations have adopted a pro-whaling position at the IWC in order to facilitate mutual long term economic and trade advantages. These small nations are taking advantage of new opportunities to improve their economic status and their image in the eyes of the global community, through advocating international cooperation in improving sustainability of resource use. In some cases, they appear to be exemplifying Wallerstein's World Systems Theory. They are using the whaling issue as a vehicle to improve their future status as both importing and exporting markets and resource producers, and in so doing, are becoming less peripheral and more central to an increasing globalization of trade and economic development. The present work resulted from a combined approach of long term fieldwork in both a multicultural and an institutional setting. The fieldwork observations led to an inductive process that has resulted in the grounded theories presented here to explain the actions of all classes of participants in the whaling issue.